Strip 152 - Alignment Tutorial - Part 18

26th Mar 2015, 12:00 AM in Corvus Village
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Haegan2005 26th Mar 2015, 12:17 AM edit delete reply
Been there, done that.... DMing can get interesting enforcing limitations.
Zilfallion 26th Mar 2015, 8:14 AM edit delete reply
Hey, he only donated the money for all those kids because he grew up as one of them. I can see even an evil character having a little empathy for a situation they grew up in.
nathan400 26th Mar 2015, 11:41 AM edit delete reply
Agreed, that's what makes it such a bad ruling. Further more, as I look back on all the villains that stayed with me, it's the ones that had honor or some scrap of empathy that leave the biggest mark on me. For example, Galcian from Skies of Arcadia Legends (a video game, to be clear) is a villain I will never forget, not because of any battle you fight him but because of one cutscene where he displays honor and respect.
Tatsurou 26th Mar 2015, 2:04 PM edit delete reply
The villain that stayed with me the longest - and has shaped my preference for villains - was Magneto from the X Men cartoons (the older one).

He was a villain only by definition of the fact the story was told from the perspective of the X Men. He was honorable, well motivated, deep, nuanced...and in D&D would probably have been Chaotic Good.
Raxon 26th Mar 2015, 3:34 PM edit delete reply
Except, you know, for being a mutant supremacist. I would say chaotic neutral, tops, since he consistently, you know, committed crimes in order to further the supremacy of the brotherhood of mutants.
Kyosuke Nambu 27th Mar 2015, 10:00 AM edit delete reply

That, is an excellent point.
holywhippet 29th Mar 2015, 10:57 PM edit delete reply

He was classified as being good in the first secret wars. The Beyonder pegged him as being good since he was fighting for others and not himself.
Disloyal Subject 26th Mar 2015, 2:08 PM edit delete reply
Disloyal Subject
Agreed. Heck, given that Neutral Evil can be dedicated to a cause as readily as any other alignment and is perfectly inclined for utter devotion to it, his whole alignment could potentially be over his ruthlessness in "looking out for his own."
I also recall a story about a Lawful Evil PC who made a point of buying & funding every orphanage the party found, ensuring good educations for all the kids. Come the epilogue, be had a near-monopoly on skilled labor when he founded his own country and brought all his very-well-treated subjects in under his rule. Pragmatism makes for fun subversions of any alignment.
SeriousBiz 26th Mar 2015, 12:14 PM edit delete reply

How come the first DM makes me think of John Doe from Se7en: "Innocent? Is that supposed to be funny?"

People are complex beings, and they also have a tendency to change over time. As Zilfallion said, an evil character can have moments of compassion (usually provided they can empathize with the situation, meaning they only empathize with people much like themselves), and a good character can be blinded by rage, grief, or momentary apathy.

How the character reacts to their lapses in judgement and whether they keep acting a certain way is the key; the first GM in the comic looks the other way despite constant actions that are contrary to the character's alignment,and the second GM penalizes the character based on a single action contrary to their alignment, so they're good examples of going waaaay too far.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of penalizing for alignment violations, particularly since I'm not a huge fan of alignments. Most characters constantly violating their alignment I'd "penalize" simply by eventually asking the player to change the character's alignment to better reflect their new view on life. No biggie.

Just about the only exceptions are paladins (or, indeed, anti-paladins), who are granted powerful gifts on the condition that they stick to their ideals. Other than that, characters in my games are allowed to go where their players feel they are going, as long as they remember that actions still have consequences...
DtDoom 27th Mar 2015, 1:10 AM edit delete reply

"Everyone is the hero of their own story."
Every villain should think that what he/she is doing is not only right, but justified.

Take for example Darken Rahl from the Sword of Truth. He was as evil as they come. Torturing, murdering, and other extreme forms of cruelty were his tools. Yet, in his mind, all of it was so that he could end all of the suffering in the world.

Jagang from the same series, another perfect example, save that his goal was to make everyone equal. Though of course, he was using an extremely flawed system to do it, but that didn't make his belief in that system any less.
Venchi 21st Dec 2017, 4:26 PM edit delete reply

This is ridiculously late but you made a grammar mistake in the second panel. "He just killed Druid who worshiped..."
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